HC Deb 06 April 1950 vol 473 cc176-7W
37. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department where youths over 17 years of age who have received sentences of imprisonment for crimes of violence are accommodated; how many young persons there are in this category; and to what extent it has been necessary to place them in prisons where they come in contact with older criminals who have already served previous sentences.

Mr. Ede

Prisoners who were between the ages of 17 and 21 on conviction and received sentences of three months' imprisonment or more are located at Lewes Prison and in separate wings of Stafford and Wakefield Prisons which have been set aside for young prisoners. On 4th April, 1950, there were in these prisons 92 young prisoners convicted of crimes of violence. Lewes Prison, except for a separate wing for untried prisoners, is used solely as a young prisoners centre; at Stafford and Wakefield the young prisoners are kept apart from older men who have already served prison sentences.

Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the position in regard to the accommodation in prisons; what are the numbers of the present prison population; and what steps he has been able to take to procure the additional accommodation which is specially necessary for youths who would normally be sent to Borstal institutions.

Mr. Ede

All available cellular prison accommodation has now been taken into use, and hutted camps and other buildings have been acquired for the accommodation of those prisoners who can be held under conditions of modified security. Nevertheless, the amount of cellular accommodation is still insufficient for present needs, and at a recent date some 1,900 prisoners were sleeping three in a cell. The total number in occupation of prisons and Borstals on 28th March, 1950, was 20,247, including 3,187 Borstal inmates. There is no shortage of Borstal accommodation, and persons sentenced to Borstal training are removed to a Borstal Institution normally within a few days.